Maxwell Hill: A Misty Getaway

It's one of those moments when you are torn between two choices, each one seemingly better than the other.

I was caught in exactly that moment.

1. Wanted to take up scuba diving after more than 2 years of postponing. In Redang island.

2. Speedy bungalow on Maxwell Hill was ngam ngamly booked on the same weekend. fml.
I almost confirmed taking up Open Water diving course. Had everything planned out, reserved place with Kenneth, and almost bought bus tickets to Kuala Terengganu. Though at the same time I do so badly wanted to go to Maxwell Hill. The last time I went up on the hill was also during my second year in uni T_T

Fate rearranged itself and I found myself waking up at 6:15 in the morning and lugging my elephantine backpack on a road trip to Taiping ;)

Taiping is only about 1 hour drive from Penang. The whole journey smelt like garlic chili sauce. Because we tapao-ed like 15 boxes of chicken rice and they were all stuffed in TY's car, nicely marinating the interior. Jeez. I swear mosquitoes were practically zooming towards me as soon as I opened the door.
Anyways, as there were too many bags and equipments (rice cooker, thermal pot rofl) we didn't hike up the hill. Instead we hired a 4wd to drive us all up. Shots on the place later. Food first!

The chicken and duck rice spread that cost me a couple of mozzie bites. Some weirdos in the group went and arrange the rice packets like want to pai sin liddat.

Speedy! I love the place. I remember clearly when I was here back in 2006 (wtf almost 4 years liao). It was so cold and misty. Back then there weren't any water heaters! I remember TY having to boil water from the electric jug kettle so that I could bathe rofl.

But other than that, nothing much has changed I think. Well, this time around Kenneth isn't there to fall asleep half naked and snoring us all to deaf.

The others damn phobia that we get bad weather, hence we are disallowed to utter the words "good weather" or "sunny".

Well it sure was sunny all right :D

Evan getting all excited and giggly after catching an eagle on flight nearby.

Then it's cake making time!

No, not that kind of DIY cake.

Guess which cake?

Tangy lemon cheese cake.

With a picture that proves I worked on it.

There's really nothing much you can do on Maxwell Hill. Unless you're into bird-watching and herping. Me? I spent my afternoon reading a book (What The Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell) and napping hehe. When the others have gone out, the bungalow is just so quiet and serene. It's almost like being in a vacuum environment with only the occasional chirping of birds and other wildlife calling. Temperature is at a comfortable level. Sunny enough without being humid. This is exactly what I need.

Picturesque view from the bungalow.

Wei Inn has graciously offered to take up the role of 'Mom' and prepare her 11 children some good ol' home-cooked dishes.

A cute swiftlet's nest just edged on the top of the roof from the kitchen door. TY snapped this as the swift looks on curiously at the weird dark human with an even weirder squarish boxy thing the human carries which emanates an annoyingly bright flash of light.

Finally dinner is served ;)

Trust Inn Jie to come up with ABC soup with anchovies up high in the mountains, all in the span of a couple of hours.

Fried spam.

Curry chicken Ruo-Wen's mom made. It's cooked on this thermal pot thingy where you only cook your ingredients over the stove for 15 minutes, then lock the pot in this ceramic pot (well at least I think it is ceramic pot) and it continues to cook slowly. Hassle-free and cooking for hours and hours. Sounds like the kind of thing for Chinese soup...yummy.

The universal favorite food: Omelette.

Stir fried Chinese cabbage.

And the final complement to the dishes on a cold night in the hills. Sliced green chillies with chopped garlic.

Lemon tea to cleanse the system? Lol. An impromptu addition. Many thanks to Evan Quah. Waseh, the tea so good, drink liao super ka muan can die strait strait. Ok choi touch wood I take it back. I'm too young to die.

Soon after dinner, all of us accompanied Evan on his herping quest lol. Sprayed on an inch-thick of mozzie/leech repellent and rolled on long socks before I headed out. Saw a whole array of wildlife which I would never have been able to spot them myself.

And for the first time ever, trekked all the way to the Telekom tower at night.

A group shot of the six who made it all the way up ;) 50% success rate lol.

We then hurry down back to Speedy to get our sugar fix (well I was hurrying down to use the loo). Our lemon cheesecake is impatiently waiting for us in the fridge.

Hehe... slight imperfections but that's what made this cake luvly.

Covered the top with St Dalfour's blackberry jam and it's good to go. To the depths of our stomachs that is. I recalled making this once before, long, long time ago for TY's birthday. With all the same ingredients down to the blackberry jam (well, minus the lemon that is). I'll bet that ass has forgotten I made it once.

And all too soon, just like any other getaways, it's time to pack up and leave. I felt like I had just reached here.....

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